By Meredith Lynch.
It has been a long Covid-19 year for all of us. Meanwhile, the planet kept getting hotter, with 2020 tying for the hottest year that humans have ever experienced. What can we do here in Alabama to create climate solutions, while also driving an economic recovery from Covid?
On April 7, Auburn University participated in a Global Dialog, hosting a webinar on climate solutions, a green recovery, and a just transition. Similar events occurred at over 100 universities in 45 countries, in almost all 50 US states, DC, and Puerto Rico. From Australia to Kyrgyzstan, Colombia to Malaysia, and South Carolina to South Africa, climate experts discussed the big, ambitious things that we can do in our own communities over the next year to help solve climate change and create jobs as we recover from Covid-19.
The speakers at the Auburn Dialog, hosted by Auburn University, were Daniel Tait, Alan Booker, and Nina Morgan. Our panelists suggest these three big things we need to do locally that can help solve this global problem.
- Demand products and services that are regenerative as well as putting constant pressure on your local, state, and national government.
- Find out the governance structure of your utility companies. Are they private or public? What voting rights do you have and how can you exercise them? How can you work with others to make change?
- Think globally, start locally. If you are not involved, get involved.
We invite you to watch the recorded State of Alabama webinar:
For teachers, guides for over two dozen different disciplines have been developed by a global climate education project based at Bard College in New York. Teachers are encouraged to use the webinar to #MakeClimateAClass by assigning it as homework. Then use the one-page Teachers Guides to lead a discussion about climate change from the perspective of your subject area.
After assigning this overview of climate solutions here in Alabama as homework, artists can talk with their students about effective climate imagery; literature professors can talk about climate fiction; psychology teachers teach about climate anxiety and denial, and business professors can discuss how companies can help drive climate solutions.
Most people do not think about climate change every day. We do. As guest panelists share this important message: what we do or fail to do, right here in Alabama to solve climate change, will have tremendous impacts on our own lives, and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Time is short, so educate yourself, start locally, and put pressure on local, state, and federal governments.
Post contributed by Meredith Lynch, Outreach Coordinator, Office of Sustainability.